The majority of the purée baby food reviews have not gone so well lately! You can check out the baby custard review here, the red lentil purée here and the Spinach, Apple, Broccoli and Pea purée here! In this week’s Chewsday Review we’re taking a look at some more of the pre-packaged purées. Today's version is Rafferty’s Garden Creamy Chicken and Veggies. It's part of the Baby Savoury range, as most parents seem to be looking for savoury/vegetable options (with not much luck!)
🔹Vegetables (60.5%) [potato, pea, spinach, leek], cooking water, chicken (9%), whole milk (4.5%), olive oil.
🔹Common allergens include: milk
🔹Low in saturated fat, sugar and sodium.
🔹Does include more veggies than most of the other purées
🔹Serving instructions encourage use of a spoon and bowl which is better than sucking from a squeezie pouch (see negative below).
🔹Water makes up at least 22% of this product, if not more. That is a very cheap filler, especially given that the product is $2.00 per pouch or $16.70/kg (much more expensive than any of the ingredients).
🔹There’s hardly any chicken in this purée. That means there’s also very little iron in this food, which you might not realise when buying a meat based puree. This isn’t disclosed on the nutrition information panel because iron isn’t listed, but my detective skills are next level :) The small amount of chicken (see below in marketing) means that there’s only about 0.5% of an infant’s daily iron requirements in this pack.
🔹Heaping the veggies in together in the ingredient list means that we know veggies contribute 60.5% of the puree, but we don’t know which veggies contribute the most. Ingredients have to be listed in descending order of weight (ie/ the ingredient in the most quantity is listed first, and it decreases from there). Potato is listed first, meaning that is the vegetable contributing the greatest amount. So this product could potentially be 59% potato, 0.5% pea, 0.5% spinach and 0.5% leek. we just don’t know!
🔹Squeezie packs are convenient and less messy than spoons, and retain some of the more heat-sensitive nutrients when compared to jars/cans. BUT they really don't help babies to develop biting and chewing skills that they need for other foods. This would be best decanted into a bowl and eaten with a spoon/dipper.
🔹”Natural source of protein’. Now this is often a big worry for parents, despite most Aussie kids actually getting well above the recommended protein intake. BUT, this product is only 9% chicken, which works out to just over 10g. That’s equivalent to one small piece of shredded chicken, which really doesn’t provide a whole lot of anything.
🔹”No artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives and no GM ingredients’. Yep, as with almost every other puree out there.
🔹There's nothing 'wrong' with this product, but don't be fooled into thinking this is equivalent to meat and three veg!
🔹Where possible, homemade purée with these ingredients is a much cheaper option, and you can control how much comes from veggies, chicken and water/milk.
About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page.
You can also email them.